The Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, was in Kismayo on Tuesday for discussions with the President of Jubbaland, Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe, focusing on the upcoming elections in the state and planned operations to secure the main supply routes in the region.
Ambassador Madeira, who is also the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, told journalists after the meeting that AMISOM was confident that the August 2019 elections were going to be free, fair, peaceful, and transparent.
“I assured President Madobe of the availability of AMISOM to support the holding of peaceful elections. We will not interfere in the elections. Our mission is to empower the Somalis in all aspects, so that they eventually take charge of their own security.”
Further, Ambassador Madeira said that contrary to reports that AMISOM troops had withdrawn from securing Kismayo Airport, the troops were in place and the airport was secure.
President Madobe said his administration was happy to work jointly with AMISOM to conduct free, fair and peaceful elections and he had appointed a team of local officials to ensure that the August election was delivered as planned.
“We discussed the upcoming elections in Jubbaland, and the need to hold them in a free, fair, and peaceful environment. We agreed that the Jubbaland Security Forces are capable of securing the elections. We share the view that providing police and security for the elections is the primary responsibility of Jubbaland,” said Madobe.
President Madobe also revealed that discussions with Ambassador Madeira had focused on the resumption of joint operations to secure the Kismayo-Afmadow Road and the Kambsuma Road.
Accompanying Ambassador Madeira to Kismayo was the AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn and Lt. General Osman Noor Soubagleh, the Advisor to Ambassador Madeira, as well as other AMISOM officials from Sector Two and Sector Six.